News Report up to 19 April 2013
It seems like a lot has been happening at Williton lately, but this is probably an illusion as far as this writer is
concerned, due to pressure of the demands of paid work preventing the usual round of weekly work reports.
We have just completed our Spring Work Week, during which a number of larger projects are usually taken on as we
have a resident workforce for a few days. This usually manifests itself with an infrastructure project or two and this
year was no exception, though nothing big was on the cards. Our Portakabin complex is right at the entrance to our
site at Williton and is therefore very much in the public eye. Much effort is therefore expended in keeping the cabins
looking at their best and this year the delayed arrival of warmer weather allowed some painting to be done on the
windows of the staff accommodation cabin. Several coats of paint were applied where necessary and the cabin is
looking much smarter now. The other infrastructure project completed was the installation of a viewing window in the
workshop wall inside the Old Goods Shed. This allows interested visitors to view any work going on the shed when
the Heritage Centre is open to the public.
On the locomotive front, there is lots going on as preparations for the Diesel Gala in June step up a gear. With the
danger of a damaging frost now passed, D6566 has been brought out of winter hibernation and prepared for the
season. With all our locos, any period out of use is always followed by a test run of some sort to ensure all systems
are working collectively as they should, and D6566 was to have no exceptions granted. The opportunity was taken
for a trip out to Minehead to collect the Brake Van, which needed to be brought back to Williton for some attention.
D6575 was taken along as insurance and to act as a suitable load. Nothing serious came to light as a result of this
test run and so D6566 rejoins the active fleet for 2013.
D6575 herself has had some attention from Ian and his team. The loco has been giving indications (contactor
chatter) during engine starting, and has also had a 'blow' from the start contactor magnet valve. The magnet valve is
a common problem, and is easily rectified by simply stripping and cleaning the valve. During this operation, it was
discovered that the wrong coil was fitted to this valve, a 925 ohm one instead of the 286 ohm one that it should be.
This explains the contactor chatter, and is also easily rectified by fitting one of the correct value that we have in store.
Ian has also been progressing the overhaul of our spare triple pump and has reached the stage where the
reassembled motor could be tested. This was achieved by connecting up the motor via a contactor to the spare set
of batteries that currently reside in Hymek D7018 to enable circuit testing to be carried out there. Ian is happy to
report that the refurbished motor runs smoothly with no trace of arcing. The way is now clear to mount the triple pump
to the motor and then we will have a spare triple pump readily available for a quick repair should it be needed.
On the Hymek front, much progress is evident. D7017's protracted engine repairs have now been effectively
completed, and Dr Maybach has been seen around the depot wearing a grin, so we think it must be going right at last
and we believe he is happy for the final components to go back on. After last minute attention to a recalcitrant
injector, the loco was started and Driver Harris was permitted to drive it out of, and back into, the shed. Like the 33 I
mentioned earlier, a test run now beckons, and this will be done in the next few days once all the roof panels and air
filters have been refitted. STOP PRESS! Full test run report below!
D7018 has had progress too, with electrical testing of circuits in the B End cab being carried out by Matt. Out on the
shed floor, the repaired and rebuilt cooler group was being prepared for pressure testing by having manifold
connections blanked off and a water level gauge fitted. More paint was also applied so that it is closer to being ready
for refitting to the loco.
D832 was shunted into the Tarmac Shed over the pit so that the final fuel tank repairs could be completed. Once this
job has been done satisfactorily, we can refill the fuel tank completely and then that should be another loco back on
to the active list. This is another loco having paint applied, with the spring clean and refresh being completed in the
other cab. As part of this, the remaining two refurbished cab seats were refitted into place.
Over in the Western, even more paint was being applied at the Minehead end of the loco, while at the opposite end,
more dismantling was taking place to try to access the source of a leak in the main vacuum brake pipe. Some years
ago we had a similar problem at the other end. This was resolved by cutting a hole in the side of the cab to gain
access to the offending pipe. This time, the team are trying harder to gain access without using such a destructive
method, as this brings its own problems of restoring the external paint finish to a satisfactory degree. The problem
lies where the main vacuum pipe runs along the floor below the drivers desk. Over time, the pipe is subject to
corrosion and, as here, develops a leak. Due to its size, this pipe is one of the first to be installed during cab build,
with all the other pipework and wiring being assembled around it. This means there are a lot of components impeding
access to the one we need to get at. The Western Team have a lot of fiddly work to do in a confined space - we wish
them every success with their endeavours.
The brake van mentioned earlier has been retrieved for urgent attention to the safety doors fitted to the verandas
last year. These are an additional safety feature fitted to meet modern Health & Safety obligations for carrying
members of the public and, since installation, have warped a little during use. These doors have now been planed as
required to ensure correct operation so the vehicle can be used during our Diesel Driver Experience courses.
D1661 is about to have a B Exam carried out which requires the bogie brake mechanisms to be set up. In
preparation for this, the loco has been loaded up with a full set of new brake blocks. The actual 're-blocking' and
brake setting will be done next week utilising the pit in the loco yard at Bishops Lydeard. During Work Week, the loco
was utilised for two round trips of the line for WSR stock moves and WSR Company driver familiarisation.
A start was made in the classroom Portakabin on making a new model of Williton station and yards in N Gauge. This
is a useful model for visitors as it gives a clear impression of the size and scale of our site and it is of course an
extremely useful training aid for our loco crews and staff involved in some of the quite complex shunting manoeuvres
that we are sometimes asked to undertake.
Hymek test run report and Depot News up to 20th April
compiled from text supplied by Jon Tooke
On Saturday 20th April, Hymek D7017 was booked to carry out a test run following major engine repairs. D7017 was
driven by Senior Driver Harris with Jon as Secondman and Cameron as his trainee. As is customary for a test run, a
second serviceable loco was taken as a dead load and for insurance in case of problems and in this case it was to
be D6575 with Graham driving and Darren in the second seat, running from Williton (WN) to Bishops Lydeard (BL)
as part of the running in testing trials. The opportunity was also being exploited by the WSR as a means of getting
some Mk1 coaching stock to Minehead (MD) for essential emergency attention in the WSR Carriage Works. All went
well on the outward trip to BL, but during the climb to Crowcombe Heathfield (CH), Doctor Maybach, while monitoring
his patient, reported that a coolant leak on one of the main pipes of the intercooler circuit (not one of the parts
recently repaired) and during a booked stop at CH the loco was failed and the insurance loco D6575 took over. The
defective intercooler hose has now been repaired, and the Hymek will undertake another test run as soon as
At WN the Hymek was shunted into the yard and the train continued to MD to deliver the defective coach with the
remaining coaches being worked back to BL and stabled in the sidings there. The 33 then ran light engine back to
WN where the crew got involved with depot duties such as tidying up the yard, and digging out months of
accumulated debris from the flangeways on the shed apron.
During the day at WN, Mark spent many hours welding up the badly corroded areas of D1010's cooler group.
JC (the other one) and Neil made more progress with the long job of getting the Warship back into ship-shape
condition and Gordon and Leroy continued with pecking away at the Western's long worklist.
Team Crompton continued with the various tasks which I am sure Ian will be telling you about in a separate report.
On Sunday many DEPG members attended a training seminar at BL for a practical and theory session on shunting
and Rules and Regs which also saw steam crews present.
A good, light hearted, but nonetheless serious business, was dealt with in a positive way, which should ensure that
we avoid the sort of incidents that have befallen some other heritage lines in recent times.
|We regret that we have been unable to upload images to accompany this week's report.
Hopefully this will be rectified shortly.